Mac Studio ? and display upgrade questions

Hello, I’m currently running Sketchup 2023, and layout on an older 2019 Mac desktop. Things are opening slowly, and generally getting bogged down and crashing repeatedly. I do 75% of my work in Layout, lots of unique pattern fill and hundreds of dimensions per page, along with titles and So it’s time for an upgrade. I’m looking into a Mac Studio with a (non apple"- 27" ) display. I have 2 questions: 1. What should I get for a Mac Studio? i.e. what are the min specs I should consider. and 2. what should I get for a display. The Mac I’m running now is 21.5" screen with (4096 x 2304) The display quality is crisp and sharp. Im worried about display quality on a dell or other display. Maybe I shouldn’t be worried about that? any advise or suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks for your time!

I can’t answer your questions but I would hold my breath and wait for SketchUp 2024 to come out.
SketchUp 2023 doesn’t support Sonoma which is likely to come on your new Mac, and there have been issues…
It could come any day now, so you probably won’t have to wait long…


or, if you buy a mac studio, don’t sell your old one until 24 is released :slight_smile:

the minimum specs available on a mac studio are far above the requirements.
So really, any mac studio you want.
No need for the ultra, the max is enough (ultra might be worth it for extensive 3d rendering, audio and video work). No need to pay the extra 1700€ for power you’ll never feel / use.

it comes with a minimum of 32gb RAM, keep in mind you can’t add some later (better pay a bit more today and keep it powerful 2-3 more years in the long run, I regret not getting 32 with my mini M1 in 2021)

If I had to pick a studio, the max / 64gb RAM / 1Tb ssd for 3100€

But if it was 100% up to me, I’d pick the top mini M2 pro (again, for non rendering / video, not much of a difference), 32gb ram, 500gb ssd for 2350€

Sketchup and all CAD softwares are mono threads, meaning that you could have 90 cores, only one would be used.
And all M2 have the same clock (about 3,5 Ghz). so a software like sketchup or layout would only see little change between a M2, M2pro, max or ultra. but you would feel the price.

I never went retina / 4k, right now I’m using 2 samsung screens, 23,5" and 27" - both 1920x1080, no crispness issue.
There are many good 27" 4k displays out there, dell, samsung… no need to buy official apple stuff.
(plus, with the money you could save by NOT buying a M2 ultra, you could get a hi-end screen too :slight_smile: )

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That is a fact but not an excuse. Like, in Layout, if I Auto-update the viewport, the software stops dead in its tracks, one core is working, all other 89 cores sit around idle and watch me sitting around idle watching that dreaded beachball for the next five minutes until that one core has worked its way through all 84 viewports of the other 43 pages of the document. This is bad software design.

If any thought would have gone into making clever use of modern computer architecture, 84 of these cores could render one viewport each while I still had 6 cores to choose from to edit the next text paragraph.

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The usual statement about single core is about 3D model editing software, such as SketchUp. It’s not an excuse, but a statement of fact about how the process is serial and not amenable to parallelism.

I’m not certain the same can be said about LayOut, which, unlike SketchUp, has multiple viewports onto the model. And editing in LayOut doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) modify the model itself. It would take deeper understanding than I have regarding how LayOut works to know whether updating viewports in parallel would be feasible.

and this is an off topic opinion, not a valuable answer to chris’s question.

Chris asked us what mac studio config is good, if you want to discuss the origin and the reasons behind the way layout works today, I invite you to start your own thread in the LayOut category. Pretty sure there are already a few of those existing.

but discussing “what may be” or “what, in hindisght, could have been” won’t help Chris picking their next machine :confused:


If I were planning on buying a new mac studio, I´d wait a bit, the M3 family of processors was released a few months ago and the performance gains over the M1 and M2 are significant specially on the gpu side, if you work mainly with layout the M3 max base model would be more than enough for your needs, it has great single core performance, and vray will also be fast with the 16 cpu cores, if you use other engines like Enscape, it will be even faster cause it uses the gpu and even the chip with less gpu cores will render extremely fast, I have an M1 max MacBook pro and both Vray and Enscape run fast even with big scenes. The M3 max will have you covered for a lot of years, I love my macbook, the performance in most of the programs I use is even better than my 13th gen i7 desktop cpu and its 2 years older.

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yes that too.
I’ll probably change my mini then too.

When the mini / studio finally gets M3 chipsets, you can apply what I said of the M2 series. It’ll be the same, but instead of 3,5 Ghz it’ll be about 4,05Ghz

as of when will the M3 studio / mini arrive… last year, the studio was announced / realased mid march, the mini was upgraded in january. so if they decide to upgrade them both to M3, it should be very soon.

look out for the next apple event I’d say.

Thank you all. this was very helpful. I’ll let you know what we go with and how it works out for us. Thanks again.

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